Testimonials from some of Andy Manson and Seth Baccus's customers -
Andy Manson Blarge
When I received my Manson Blarge two years ago I was impressed with how responsive it was, right out of the box. I play it every day and perform with it regularly.
Every time I pick it up I am always pleasantly surprised with how big and open the tone is and how fun and easy it is to play.
Andy is one of the best builders in the world today and his aesthetics, designs, and execution are top notch. Just take a look at some pictures of his instruments; or better yet, buy one! You'll be glad you did!
Andy Manson F Style Mandolin
Andy Manson Bosun's Guitar b. 2001 It began in the close confines of a yacht cabin. Inspired by some rather good wine and music, Andy suggested a smaller-bodied guitar would be more appropriate aboard the boat. Pretty slick, eh? After a little more wine it was somehow agreed that Andy would build said guitar. The result was the Manson Bosun's guitar which I've now had for over ten years. From first sight it was obviously something special and has, without doubt, become my prize possession. This small-bodied full scale nylon string parlour guitar with cedar top, rare old figured cuban mahogany back & sides and gorgeous koa binding is truly a thing of beauty. The choice of materials, lush oil finish and restraint from embellishment reveal nothing but the sheer outstanding quality of craftsmanship in both construction and design. Added to this, it's proved to be remarkably stable over the years, and apart from regular restringing, no adjustment or alteration has ever been necessary....rare in my experience. Soundwise it is equally impressive with an extraordinarily even response over the entire register, very focussed bass and surprising overall volume & projection for its size. Many accomplished players who visit my workshop have unanimously agreed on the exceptional qualities of this guitar, and despite numerous requests to borrow, record with or buy I refuse to part with it......... things now just wouldn't feel right without it being close at hand. It is and always has been a real pleasure to play. No boat should be without one................. Bill Puplett - Luthier The Guitar Workshop Harrow Weald U.K.
Andy Manson Bluebird and Tenor Guitar
A young lady came up to me one night after I was playing
one of the guitars you have recently delivered to me and said
" I would just like to say that is the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen."
I thanked her and went on to say "Yes it is, but it is more than that,
it is my inspiration. It sings beautifully to me and it does so because
Andy made it to my specifications."
For example; It is a short scale guitar. After years of struggling with
standard length guitars, I am now able to be more flexible and consistent
and expressive in my playing. The body size is now manageable.
It has a lovely low action,and it is light and very responsive.
All in all Andy's attention to detail and dedication to his craft is of the
So, I have a six string and a tenor guitar.
It is my time and the window of opportunity to work on a new CD has arisen
because of Andy's skills in providing the instruments.
Finally, without these very special instruments I think the circular
unproductive motion would have continued to the end of my time.
Andy Manson Bouzouki and BlargeIt was back in 1995 when I walked into a small local music shop here
in Ireland that I saw my first Andy Manson Bouzouki.
The shop was selling it 2nd hand for a private customer. I had only been
playing bouzouki about 6 months at the time, but there was something
special about this Manson sound. I went back to the same shop two
days later to buy it but sadly it was sold the day before!
It was not ment to be I guess....
My musical years passed by, and I played bouzoukis from other very
good makers, but my mind always went back to the one that got away..... I was very lucky indeed to have two great local musicians
Cyril O Donoghue & Jerry Mac Namara, who both play Manson bouzoukis,
to remind me of what I was missing out on, so in 2008 I contacted Andy
to make me an 8 string bouzouki of my own.
At last I have the sound I longed after for all those years. A sweet, rich tone
with such an even balance and volume, and its so easy to play my left hand
just dances up and down the fretboard. It just gets better and better
as the years fly by.
The thing about Andys instruments is that they dont just sound great,
they also look fantastic! The wood from the forests has transformed into
a one-off piece of art. His workmanship is second to none, and the fact that he is a true gentleman
to deal with makes you feel that you can pass on any ideas you have for
your new instrument...That you too have become part of the build.
I cant take it out of its case without someone asking about it! I love my bouzouki so much so that late last year I ordered a 10 string Blarge
from Andy, which I received 2 weeks ago, yet another masterpeice! My only regret is that I didnt contact him back in 1995!! All the best, Seanie McGrath, Co.Clare, Ireland.
Seth Baccus - Custom Lap Steel guitar
My lap steel made by Seth ("Chimney swallow") is a really beautiful and
subtle sounding instrument. If I had to describe the sound, then probably the
words "warm and rich" would come to my mind first. It also has really long sustain.
If I play melodies I mostly use the neck pickup (Missisipi Queen) and then
the sound has a nice and smooth attack and somehow melancholic color.
Playing chords I use the bridge pickup (The Mule) and the sound begins
to "shine" and "flicker" with a lot of overtones.
The sound can be really fascinating and has a real deep "life" in it.
And of course, the guitar looks very cool and has been made with
I am very happy and satisfied with it.
Seth Baccus custom hybrid StratoTele guitar review:
I first met Andy Manson and Seth Baccus accidently at an exhibit in my
hometown. I was going for a dinner there and when arriving some very
good looking guitars drew my attention.
I quickly approached their bench and started talking with these two lovely chaps.
I didn’t have a clue who they were although when Andy introduced himself
the name seemed familiar to me. Andy invited me to try one of his
brand new archtop guitars which I did, unplugged.
This was a high quality instrument and the care for detail was obvious all
over the guitar.
That was when something caught my eye…that’s right…
two gorgeous electric guitars made by Seth.
Their design was different from the usual but very good looking and
the build quality just awesome.
This was when my wife brought me back from my trance to go and have dinner.
Seth and Andy offered to wait until I ended my dinner.
I went to have dinner with some guests but my mind was somewhere else…
just wanted to be done to get back to those guitars.
When I was able to get back to Andy and Seth I plugged the first one
(a red double cut one with two humbuckers…Gibson style) and I loved
the neck…probably the best and most comfortable neck I’ve ever played
in my life and I’ve experimented a lot.
Then I moved for the next one…a black one…yes, the Seth Baccus new 390
and as soon as I plugged it in I was amazed…those pickups…
the wiring system and again the neck, just blew me away.
I knew from that moment I’ve found what I was looking for…the search was over
…those electronics and neck in a different shape…in a Tele shape.
I’m more of a Fender player and a Tele body shape enthusiastic.
I play in a Pink Floyd tribute band (The Lisbon Floyd Band: https://www.facebook.com/thelisbonfloydband)
as lead vocalist and lead guitarist. This is my comfort zone…my style if I may.
I use a David Gilmour signature Fender Stratocaster NOS but always dreamed
of a hybrid between the Stratocaster and the Tele.
I wanted a Tele body shape guitar but with the same belly and arm contours of a Strat.
This was exactly what I told Seth and asked him if he could achieve something like that
…I couldn’t believe it when he said YES!
So we started the StratoTele guitar project according to the following specs:
Body: Tele body with back contour (belly contour just like in a strat) and arm contour on top
Color: naturalNeck: the same headstock of the Seth Baccus 390 with maple fingerboard (slim and thin C shape like in the Fender Custom
Shop Gilmour black strat with low frets but with no gloss.
Tuners: Sperzel Locking TunersBridge: the same wilkinson tremolo system of the Seth Baccus 390 (tremolo system configured to allow deep bomb dives)
Nut: LSR Roller NutKnobs: Chrome dome knobs and chrome Strap Locks and 5 way blade switch
Pickups and wiring: 3 Bare knuckle Supermassive P90’s wired like a strat but with a series/parallel blend pot.
Seth knows everything you can possibly imagine about guitars and about any guitar.
He takes all the time getting to know you as a player in order to address just what
you want and need. He understood from the first moment what I was asking and gave
me every advice I needed.
We were always in contact during the making process.
I could watch the whole process of the making and the waiting was with anxiety
and enthusiasm…just like when I was waiting for my daughter to be born.
This is the best guitar I ever owned and believe me I do know what I’m talking about.
I own a nice collection of Fenders (Stratocasters and Tele plus and plus deluxe,
Gilmour Strat Nos, Eric Clapton model with lace sensors signed by the man himself, etc)
and this is by far the most versatile, gorgeous and comfortable guitar I’ve ever played.
The neck is super fast and the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and played.
Those black mother of pearl dots are just awesome.The pickups and wiring blew me away. It comes with 3 knobs: One Volume,
One Tone and One series / parallel blend to access dream land.
If you turn it down, you’re in Gibson world and turning it back up, you’re in Fender world.
Both worlds are accurate and spot on. I get a quack tone in 2 and 4 positions
I don’t get with my Gilmour Strat. The pickup outputs are well balanced as well.
Every single note comes out in HD.
For tuning stability I ordered the sperzel locking tuners and the LSR roller nut.
I can deep dive with the tremolo arm and it comes back spot on.
Seth gave me my number one Axe…a workhorse…a guitar for life.
You can play just about anything from jazz to metal.
This wasn’t a blind order…no way! No risk here whatsoever. I knew it from the start…
quality was his middle name and I knew he would deliver.
Well…my expectations were exceeded and that’s what any customer wants.
And even though he’s not a big company he provides you with any post-sale service
and support you need.
These are custom handmade guitars by a master luthier that has learned with the best.
Seth will be one of the top Luthiers in the world.
Considering all the work involved and the final result, it was worth every penny.
This gent and his work must be known to everyone who plays and like guitars.
I will probably sell one or two guitars from my collection to order
another one from Seth…this is how crazy I am about his guitars.
Thank you Seth, It’s a privilege to have you among us Portuguese.
All the best.